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Since refrigerators often come with houses and last for decades, it can be a major household event when a truly brand new unit arrives. When this finally occurred, the opportunity to compare the water issuing from our new filtered water dispenser with our local tap water was irresistible.

 

What kind of ‘filter’ adds particles to water?


Although the organisms appeared more rapidly than I expected, the presence of bacteria in the water dispensed by my new refrigerator was predictable. It is well-known that carbon, a reducing agent, readily consumes chlorine. It is this absence of chlorine that consumers cite as their perception that the water quality (taste) has improved. In the absence of a disinfectant residual, bacterial growth will occur.

Most of us have some appreciation of the technical advances achieved in human waste disposal over the past two centuries, but what does the future hold?

 

Even now, the future is unfolding. Engineers and business interests have recognized that, in our most water-stressed regions, the sewage treatment plants end up with most of the water. -- only, as the old joke goes, 'It ain't all water'.

 

A Brief (Illustrated) History of Human Waste Disposal -- and its possible future.

Part 1. Cesspits & Outhouses
Part 2. Toilets & Water Carriage

Part 3. Sewerage
Part 4. Sewage Treatment

Part 5. Wastewater Treatment
Part 6. The Future: Wastewater Reclamation
(attached pps)

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We continue to clean up the language of waste disposal as well as the wastes themselves.

Sanitary Engineers have been elevated to Environmental Engineers.

Sewage Lagoons smell better as Oxidation Ponds.

Sewage Sludges have morphed into less threatening Biosolids.

Co-mingled with a ever-increasing diversity of waste products, sewage now emerges as, simply, wastewater.

 

Can you think of other examples of the sanitation of the language of human waste management?

 

A Brief (Illustrated) History of Human Waste Disposal -- and its possible future.

Part 1. Cesspits & Outhouses
Part 2. Toilets & Water Carriage

Part 3. Sewerage
Part 4. Sewage Treatment

Part 5. Wastewater Treatment (attached pps)
Part 6. The Future: Wastewater Reclamation